December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.


Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. Arch Street
  6. As the Bird Flies Home
  7. At the Breaking of the Day
  8. Attainment
  9. Awake! Awake!
  10. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  11. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  12. Balm in Secret Prayer
  13. Banff
  14. Bells Are Calling, The
  15. Berkeley
  16. Bermuda
  17. Beulah Land
  18. Blest, Blest Forever
  19. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  20. Bratislava
  21. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  22. By and By
  23. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  24. Calvary
  25. Close Thy Heart No More
  26. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  27. Come in, O Blessèd One
  28. Coming to Jesus
  29. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  30. Côte d’Ivoire
  31. Cova da Iria
  32. Cugnaux
  33. Dragicevic
  34. Endure to the End
  35. Everlasting Song, The
  36. Fairer Than the Morning
  37. Falter Not
  38. From the Cross to the Crown
  39. Gather the Reapers Home
  40. Glamorganshire
  41. Glory
  42. Go Work in the Vineyard
  43. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  44. Going Home Rejoicing
  45. Golden Key
  46. Good News
  47. Great Judgment Day, The
  48. Guatemala
  49. Hamsher High
  50. Handful of Leaves, A
  51. Happy Tidings
  52. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  53. He Feedeth His Flock
  54. He Has Come
  55. He Saves Me
  56. He Saves Me Through and Through
  57. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  58. He Will Gather the Wheat
  59. He’ll Do Better for You
  60. Hillsdale
  61. Hilton Head
  62. His Child Forevermore
  63. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  64. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  65. Hour of Prayer, The
  66. How Oft We Are There
  67. I Have a Friend
  68. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  69. I Live but in Thee
  70. I Shall Have Wings
  71. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  72. In the Morning
  73. Is It Nothing to You?
  74. It Is Good to Be Here
  75. Jesus Is Passing By
  76. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  77. Jesus Leads
  78. Jesus Promised Me a Home
  79. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  80. Joyfully Sing
  81. King’s Highway, The
  82. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  83. Lake Tahoe
  84. Launch Out
  85. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  86. Lost but Found
  87. Medan
  88. Midnight Cry, The
  89. More About Jesus
  90. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  91. Music of the Angels
  92. My Rest
  93. My Savior First of All
  94. My Soul Shouts Glory
  95. Nagoya
  96. New Song, The
  97. No Cross for Me?
  98. No Voice but Thine
  99. Not Now, but By and By
  100. Notre Dame
  101. O Blessèd Word
  102. O Church of God, Arise!
  103. O Fly to Him
  104. O Sinner, Come Home
  105. On Let Us Go
  106. On the Hallelujah Line
  107. On the Victory Side
  108. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  109. Only Once You Pass This Way
  110. Onward and Upward
  111. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  112. Out in the Sunshine
  113. Out on the Desert
  114. Palm Springs
  115. Peace to My Soul
  116. Petersburg
  117. Phares
  118. Phinehas
  119. Praise and Magnify Our King
  120. Praise, Praise His Name
  121. Precious Moments
  122. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  123. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  124. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  125. Rest By and By
  126. Rock in the Desert
  127. Room for the World
  128. Safe in the Glory Land
  129. Schindler
  130. Seek Ye First
  131. Send Out the Sunlight
  132. Shanghai
  133. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  134. Shining for Jesus
  135. Shout in the Camp, A
  136. Show Me the Rock
  137. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  138. Since I Found My Savior
  139. Sing Once More of Jesus
  140. Singing of Jesus
  141. Smile from Jesus, A
  142. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  143. Speak for Jesus
  144. Sunshine in the Soul
  145. Standing on the Battlements
  146. Step into the Fountain
  147. Sweet Assurance
  148. Sweet Story of Jesus
  149. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  150. Take Courage
  151. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  152. Tasmania
  153. Tell It Out with Gladness
  154. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  155. Tell the Blessèd Story
  156. Tell the Whole Wide World
  157. There Is No One Like the Savior
  158. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  159. There’s a Hand Held Out
  160. There’s a Message from the Lord
  161. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  162. Thy Hope for Eternity
  163. Till the Boat Comes By
  164. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  165. Trusting in Jesus
  166. Uganda
  167. Unsearchable Riches
  168. Vadodara
  169. Wait on the Lord
  170. Waiting for Me
  171. Waiting for the Promise
  172. Walking in the Good Old Way
  173. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  174. Washed White as Snow
  175. We All Can Do Good
  176. We Are Nearing
  177. What More Can He Do?
  178. When Each Others Face We See
  179. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  180. While the Years Are Rolling On
  181. Will There Be Any Stars?
  182. Will You Come?